May 13, 2020
MAKE YOUR OWN HAIDA GWAII-INSPIRED CRAFT COCKTAILS, INFUSED WITH SPRUCE TIP SYRUP
Kayd Sitka Spruce has had an important cultural role on Xaayda Gwaay.yaay Haida Gwaii for generations due to its wide-ranging uses; from halibut hooks and waterproof baskets to medicinal purposes.
Recently, there has been renewed interest in spruce tips for their culinary value. These light green tips have a wonderful earthy and citrus-like flavor; a versatile characteristic that lends itself well to desserts, savory dishes, and craft cocktails.
Springtime is when Sitka Spruce (and other conifers) produce the desirable new growth at the end of each branch. Source and gather fresh, vibrant looking tips from well-established spruce trees. Be sure to select ones that are very small and extremely tender. They should have a pronounced but enjoyable citrus peel taste, not dissimilar to a hoppy ale.
Since the period optimal for harvesting can be short, one of the best ways to capture fresh spruce flavor is by creating an infused simple syrup. Use your freshly foraged tips as soon as possible for best results.
SPRUCE TIP SYRUP RECIPE
- 1 Cup Spruce Tips; Freshly Foraged
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Turn off heat.
- Stir in spruce tips and cover with a lid immediately.
- Let the mixture steep at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
- Carefully strain the syrup to remove any needles, then transfer to glass jar or bottle.
- Refrigerate for storage. The syrup will stay tasting fresh for several weeks.
SPRUCE-INFUSED COCKTAIL RECIPES
Imbibe the taste of the north by using your spruce tip syrup in one of these special craft cocktail recipes!
THE CONIFER COLLINS
- 1 oz. Spruce Tip Syrup
- 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 2 oz. Dry Gin
- Club Soda
In a tall cocktail glass, stir together syrup, lemon juice, and gin. Fill the glass with ice, top up with soda and garnish with a fresh lemon twist.
THE MORESBY MULE
- 1.5 oz. Vodka
- 4 oz. Cranberry Juice
- 1 Tbsp Spruce Tip Syrup
- 4 oz. Ginger Beer
- Fresh Lime
Fill copper mug (or glass of choice) with ice. Add vodka, syrup, and cranberry juice. Fill to the brim with ginger beer. Squeeze in lime juice. If desired, kick it up a notch by garnishing with a spruce tip and a lime wedge.
We hope these fresh ideas lift your spirits - Cheers!